One of the most daunting aspects of moving is the need to pack everything you own and ship it all--without losing or breaking it--to your new home. It's a long and arduous process with many potential pitfalls. However, as long as you plan ahead, taking into account each step of the move, from sourcing your packing materials, to packing, to arranging transport and removalists, you can save yourself a ton of stress.
Your packing materials are paramount to the success of your move. Use the right materials, pack them properly, with appropriate labeling, and your move will flow smoothly from point A to point B. Cardboard boxes are generally the best containers in which to store your things as they are flexible but sturdy, and come in all shapes and sizes.
If you are moving soon, make sure you know the ins and outs of using cardboard boxes for your things.
Your Local Stores Can Provide Sturdy Boxes
Did you know that Australia uses around 230kgs of paper per person a year? Much of that paper, in the form of cardboard boxes too, gets thrown out and sent to landfill sites. Do your part for the environment by putting some of those otherwise discarded cardboard boxes to use. When thinking of places to get free cardboard boxes, think outside the box.
Local fruit and vegetable markets, supermarkets and even corner shops are rich sources of sturdy fruit and vegetable boxes. Although these types are generally open-topped, they are reliably rigid and perfect for heavy items such as books and office supplies. They also come with handles. Your local bottle-shops are also rich in strong boxes, as are book stores and copy shops.
Place Boxes Within Boxes to Save Time and Space
Don't leave your box building until the last few days. Start building your boxes as early as possible. This will give you a better idea of what you have to work with. To save space, place smaller boxes inside bigger boxes and so on--like Russian nesting dolls--until you have several sets of boxes with which to work with.
Building and storing boxes this way allows you to glance at a set of boxes and know straight away exactly what you have to work with. It is certainly better than building as you go.
Use Smaller Boxes as Gap Fillers
Small items such as ornaments or the odds and ends you might have lying around on your worktop, can be packed into small boxes. You can then use these small boxes to fill in the little pockets of space in larger boxes. This gives them a home for the journey whilst helping prevent the shifting of loose items in larger boxes with excess space.
Add a Layer of Cardboard Before Sealing Boxes
Some boxes, especially those whose items you worry might not be sturdy enough to take the weight of another box placed on top, could do with a layer or two of cardboard on top. Before sealing a box, place a sheet or two of cardboard over the contents to help evenly distribute the weight of boxes placed on top.
This will ensure that boxes don't collapse on bumpy roads.
Cut up Weaker Boxes for Padding
Not all the secondhand boxes you find will be strong enough to safely pack your things in. That's fine because they also have a use. Cut them into pieces that can be used to shore up the tops of your cardboard boxes--as mentioned above.
Use Strong Tape to Seal Boxes
Lastly, your packing tape is equally important. Stay away from scotch tape for obvious reasons. Electrical tape is strong but much too expensive. Use masking tape for labeling purposes but not for sealing boxes as although you can write on it, it breaks easily when under strain. Use duct tape or filament tape as both are reinforced with plastic or cloth and provide an almost unbreakable seal.
Get the packing stage of your move right and you significantly reduce the risks to your possessions. Start early and take it slowly. Both you and the removalists will appreciate your vigilance come moving day.